Follow
Share

My MIL has impossible feet to fit. Last year I spent an entire day and traveled about 200 miles to visit nearly every specialty shoe store in our area only to find that she could not be fitted with shoes - her feet are just too fat and swollen (bunions, too!). She has forgotten this trip and wants to do a repeat performance - which I refuse to do.

We have also done the orthopedic shoes from the podiatrist - expensive - and she refuses to wear them. She says they 'hurt' her feet - we think she just thinks they are ugly. Unfortunately, what else do you do for ugly, swollen beyond belief, feet?

She is diabetic and SHOULD wear shoes at all times and she doesn't. Her feet are a mess. She still crams them into a 15 year old pair of lace ups that have sort of 'stretched with her' over the years - but they are nearly worn out. Her feet just sort of hang over the tops.

She gets these magazines in the mail and wants to order shoes from them. We have tried that a couple times and I have also ordered shoes from Amazon.com a couple times - but we must always send them back - losing money on postage each time. She just cannot wear a normal shoe anymore. That's what she wants and it just isn't possible anymore. Her arch is nearly 5 inches high - with swelling. Her feet look like little fat clubs - like she is walking on 4x4's..

If any one knows where a person can find some fashionable looking stretch fabric/lycra shoes for impossibly hard to fit feet - she would need an 8.5 and VERY WIDE and the height of the shoe is also a problem due to the swelling.

Her foot doctor has talked until he is blue in the face.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
OldCodger2 I just want to thank you for this thread. I did a search on Google for super wide shoes for my mother and I came across this thread. My mom's feet sound exactly like your MIL's. They are 4-5 inches off the ground, swelling starting at the base of her toes, everything you said. The only site I saw mentioned here that might have possibilities is based in the UK and we are in California but I sent for a catalog anyway because they go up to 8E. She has a pair of sandals she got from Hitchcock that are 5E and today when I took her to the doctor the velcro barely made contact with the other side. She fell two days ago because of her too small slippers, so now I am in search of a pair of those. I'm also going to get her an appointment with a podiatric to see if they can get her some shoes. Thank you for at least a glimmer of hope!
(0)
Report

Hubby is on a search for thin soled shoes to drive in. he has bad neuropathy but no diabetes. Right now he goes everywhere in slippers. He had me order 2 pairs for LLB so he had one decent pair to go out in. Now he's considering having his car converted to hand controls.He's getting sicker and sicker since I was ill. Does not work I beat him to it this time.
(1)
Report

Have to add that she is really picky about her shoes. They have to have thin soles and no heel. IOW, she wants her shoes to feel like slippers on her feet. She won't wear good solid shoes.
(0)
Report

oldcodger, I go through the same thing with my mother. She has big Barney Rubble feet that are usually swollen. I've found some shoes that fit her online. they are some pumps by Dr. Scholl's. Every couple of months she says that we need to go to get her some shoes. I ask her where she plans to shop. She says any shoe store will be okay. She really doesn't understand how bad her feet are and how hard they are to fit. They just don't make 11 EEEEEEEXXX to sell in shops. :) Really, she doesn't need any more shoes. She only goes out of the house 2-3 times a week, so doesn't have a huge need for shoes. She'll only wear slippers at home no matter how I encourage her to wear shoes with better support.
(0)
Report

Shopping for shoes at a 'regular' shoe store or online is out of the question for my MIL. Been there - done that. Her feet must be at least 4 or 5 inches from the ground to the top of her foot - mid foot. There is absolutely no way to get her toes into a regular shoe box - not even an extra wide one. Her feet resemble 4 x 4 blocks of wood - about 6 or 7 inches long - just a huge block where her foot used to be. She curls her toes under when she walks - podiatrist says it has something to do with the neuropathy - and that causes callouses on the ends of two toes.

Orthopedic shoes from the podiatrist are the ONLY solution to her shoe problem. Yes, they look big. They ARE big. Her feet ARE big. Even on good days her foot is easily 2-3 times the size of mine.

When the health fails - a person has to 'accept' the way things are and go with it. It took her years for her to reluctantly - VERY reluctantly - accept that these were the only shoes that she could get her feet into.

Believe me, I ordered so many shoes online - Mary Janes, ballet flats (thinking they would not need to go over her fat instep - wrong - they wouldn't even go over her fat toes.) We went to every Special shoe store in our huge Metro area and found nothing that would come close to fitting her. After spending 8 hours running to all these stores - a year later she asked me to do it again - take her to a few shoe stores. SHE FORGOT WE DID IT ALREADY!! I have no intention of putting in another day like that one ever again. Her health has further declined - she seriously could not spend a day getting in and out of a car any more anyway.

She won't even consider Tennis shoes of any kind. Doubt any would come even close to going onto her feet anyway.

She wears the orthopedic shoes on the rare trips she takes to the doctor and occasionally out to eat. She is getting more and more unsteady on her feet (losing her leg strength) and we are going to have the N.H. talk with her doctor soon.

Hubs and I both have bad shoulders and backs and I have other health issues that I did not have year ago and preclude any kind of lifting. Hubs has had shoulder surgery and cannot lift either. She is a very heavy girl. It is time to consider alternatives - at least to know our options - as the time is coming - we can see it coming. :0/
(1)
Report

it may sound silly, but when i read these stories of ugly shoes ( i refuse to wear them also) All I could think of was decorating those ugly shoes with glue on sparklies, gems, and paint markers - silver or pink, purple....
(0)
Report

My grandma has finally started to accept the diabetic shoes. We actually go to Footprints in our area to get them and they do have a few options (my biggest compliant is that these are for diabetics with a risk of fall and none of the shoes I mean none, have any treads. So when she goes out for doctor's appointments in the rain, or even slight snow, ice forget it, she can't walk and I have to literally brace her feet with mine every step she takes. It's a nightmare and an accident waiting to happen.). But she loves her shoes and the best part is they are covered by medicare. The ones she used to get at the doctor's office while convenient were ugly and she gave me a hard time wearing them calling them heavy, awkward and ugly. She had a point as they were unforgiving, were very heavy and I wouldn't have found them comfortable to walk in. They were also very hot and her feet would sweat. In these new shoes they are airy with cooling insoles which are amazing. I'm jealous of the way they made her feet look better. They look like a black sneaker so sort of stylish. They are light weight which she loves but very supportive and do not give a whole lot where it counts although you can bend the sole a bit if you have it off her. She also has specially made insoles that were formed to her feet after being heated. She used to have sores and calluses on her feet but since she started to wear these shoes during the day with her compression socks, her new water pill, having her feet up in her lift chair as much as possible during the day and in a hospital bed with her feet elevated with a pillow at night, she has her nice feet back. I wish you luck finding the right shoe.
(0)
Report

thanks for all the comments. My MIL wore her ortho shoes to AZ when she visited her sister and has been wearing them since. She wore stretch booties around the house (and at the Asst. Living Facility where her sister resides) that I found at our local pharmacy. No support at all - but she won't wear anything else around the house. The doctor is keeping tabs on her edema - some days it is worse than other days. I have a hard time getting her to elevate her feet - I am tired of nagging her about it. She naps a lot - so probably figures that is enough elevation.

I have stopped searching online for shoes for her. She has finally accepted the orthopedic shoes. Even they can barely fasten on bad days. But most of the time they are adequate.

I think it just took her a good long while to 'accept' that she had to wear shoes that were no longer the least bit pretty. I told her there wasn't anything pretty about having her feet crammed into small shoes with her swollen ankles lopping over the sides. That she needed support and safety. She has finally accepted this. It took YEARS. Thanks everyone. Hope you all have success finding 'just the right shoe' too. :0) It isn't easy.
(0)
Report

If Mom won't wear specially made shoes from the Podiatrist, I doubt anything will please her even if you are successful in finding it.
(1)
Report

desperateson I assume that you and Dad are also working on controlling the swelling. Look up Shoes for Swollen Feet online to see what brands make such shoes. I think a wrap-around style would be convenient as it could be adjusted as the swelling came and went. For a more convention looking shoe check the Dr Comfort site and look at the ones that have double depth and velcro closing. Many podiatrist offices carry Dr. Comfort.

Bless you for working on this. Decent comfortable shoes can make a difference in a person's outlook!

Would you mind coming back and starting a new thread on what you finally get and how they work? We learn from each other!
(2)
Report

I've searched seems everywhere for shoes that will fit my father who has congestive heart failure which has caused his feet to swell. One would think near a large city like Atlanta Ga such would be easy to find they are not. Anyone have any suggestions Im willing to travel 125 miles from Atlanta.
(0)
Report

If his foot is that badly swollen, soak it in some warm Epsom salts water and elevate the foot. See his MD asap because infection is probably at work.
(1)
Report

i need a shoe for my father inlaw we cant fine anything even if it were a slipper that would at least be something to wear to the dr his foot is like a football that swolen on top so something you could put a football into and still velco across and it stay velcroed
(0)
Report

You could try taking a pair of shoes that fit other than accommodating the pad of edema on the front of the foot and ask a cobbler to insert a gusset to make that part wider.
(0)
Report

My Mother had swollen feet and I have also had them from the age of 18. I am now 67 and in all those years I had to jam my feet into unsuitable shoes and sandals and walk around in extreme discomfort. Even the companies who make wide fitting shoes are no use to me because every single pair are too high up in the front and the makers do not appear to realise that as well as wide fit they also have to be low down in the front otherwise swollen feet just won't get into them. I have given up now. I seldom go out and life is just passing me by. I am desperate to know if there is just one pair of shoes out there that I can walk in comfort in. Can anyone please help ?
(0)
Report

If the men's house slippers are too big you can either tie a ribbon right round slipper and foot or sew ribbon on either side to keep them snug. If she wants prettier shoes you could get men's vinyl slippers and spray paint them the color of her choice. the paint you use for outdoor plastic furniture should work fine.
(0)
Report

No - I added another post to this one on Oct. 6th - I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER DOING IT - I CAME BACK TO POST AGAIN!!! DUH!!! I am losing what little brain function I have left.

My MIL is going to go visit her sister at her ALF in Arizona in January 2014. So, I reposted a couple weeks ago - so you guys are not answering my OLD post (necessarily).

Anyway, I swore I would never order another pair of shoes online for her - but I have :0( They are a ballet flat with elastic all around. They are extra wide - but I am afraid with her edema - the toe box will be too small.

Since my original post - her doctor put her on a diuretic that helps some - at least her legs don't look as though they will spit open at any moment anymore. But, she still has extremely swollen feet and the puffiness starts at the base of her toes!!

So, What I am thinking is we will try another pair of orthotic shoes from the foot doctor. She goes again next week. I think I read somewhere that Medicare will help pay for one pair per year. I think after Medicare and her supplement paid - she had to pay something like $75 last time. Maybe she can get a pair of Mary Janes that will look a little 'cuter.' We can hope. I feel sorry for her - but all of this searching and ordering - with nothing working - is MADDENING!

Right now - the ONLY shoes she can cram her feet into are the shoes from the foot doctor. I told her she has worn them so little - that she has never given herself a chance to get used to how they feel and how she must walk when wearing them. I suggested she wear them every day for a while and see if she can get used to them. So, she has worn them for a couple of hours a day for 2-3 days. Not enough - but it is a step forward.

She asked me to see if I could find some house slipper for her to wear. i am just afraid if I buy mens house slippers (the only ones wide enough - and even they do not look like they are deep enough for her fat tootsies) that they could end up being clumsier than these orthotic shoes she has now. They are by far 'safer' - they at least won't slip off. She has very narrow heels - so I think mens house slipper will just be BIG -

We will try again with the foot doctor. Thank you to all who have responded. I do appreciate your input - more than you know.
(0)
Report

Jeanne - I was about to say the same thing and questioned myself why I was posting again today. I knew there was a reason. Go back one page, and you will see that Odcodger started posting again 5 days ago! LOL
(2)
Report

Everyone realizes that oldcodger2's post is about a year-and-a-half old, right?
(0)
Report

Oldcodger, I know you said you have given up on catalogs, but I just came across this website silverts and they carry adaptive clothing and shoes/slippers. If you go to the section for foot problems you may find something suitable - I thought the slippers looked very good. Not cheap, but not outrageous either.
(0)
Report

Your MIL should care more about her swollen diabetic feet than stylish shoes. Ambutation of diabetic feet is a reality for those who are aflicted with diabetes to save their lives due to gangrene. Any footwear that does not cause restriction in the blood flow to the foot is essential.
(0)
Report

Careful with water retention tablets she shouldnt take them for more than 2 wks at a time they can cause dehydration if she over does it.
My mums legs swell up she is diabetic and actually has nice feet? Her main problem is walking she wont walk anywhere when she does walk then her feet swell up simply due to lack of excercise and bad circulation but she wont listen.
(0)
Report

She is rapidly reaching a non-ambulatory state and it is critical to get the swelling down. Call the MD.
(0)
Report

Get her TED hose and have her put them on before she gets out of bed in the morning. It will help a lot with the swelling and they are really comfy.
(0)
Report

Dear Oldcodger, I sympathize with your Mom's shoe dilemma, as I have gone through the same frustration, although my Mother is not diabetic. She has venous insufficiency with extremely swollen feet and calves - even diuretics can't bring them down to normal. The toes are also crooked and turned down (hammer toes?). She was also wearing a similarly worn out/stretched out pair of soft fabric sneakers for at least 10 years and insisted she wanted a new pair of the same (no luck). We both have big feet. I am a 10 wide, and with Mom's condition she has grown to 11 wide. I took her on several trips to Payless (can't afford more), to no avail. I shopped on my own and brought her another couple of pair and she gave the same arguments as your Mom - too big, not pretty/stylish enough. Finally, I found one more pair that was not only wide but also had a deep toe box and the heel cup was high enough for good support around the ankles (lace-ups). I tried them on myself to make sure they were roomy enough. The next time I visited the NH, I left the box in her closet, and told the Nurse that when she went to bed, to remove her old sneakers completely. The next day she had no choice but to wear the new sneakers. I did not visit her until the next weekend, by which time she had completely forgotten about her old sneakers and informed me of all the compliments she was getting on the new ones. As for slippers, that is a tough one. I had to resort to the corderouy mens slippers, but with the depth your Mom needs, even those probably would not work. I would suggest you get the largest size slipper with a velcro flap closure and have the shoemaker make an extension with a wide elastic strip so you can pull the closure over as far as you need to.
(0)
Report

Try Footsmart.I am Diabetic,and have hard to fit feet.I found shoes that fit in Footsmart catalog.They are a bit pricey,they carry Dr Scholl,Drew etc.They are the only shoes I can wear.They have many different styles,from dress shoes to running and even stretch type shoes.
(0)
Report

That is a great idea Veronica91. I even know of a shoe repair shop near here - I will take them there next week. Wow - I think our problem is solved. Since she will be going to AZ and it will be warmer there - the sandals should be just fine. They are the only ones she can cram her feet into. Thanks for the great tip.

IF ANYONE KNOWS OF ANY HOUSE SLIPPERS that might work - to wear around her sister's ALF (she will be visiting her sister there for a while) that would be great. Something that could pass for 'shoes' :0)
(0)
Report

You could try putting an extension on the Velcro on the sandals. Sew it firmly to the existing piece or if you can't sew use a stapler or have a shoe repair shop do it. if you can't find one a saddler usually does leather repairs and will have a heavy duty sewing machine. It is a simple job and anyone who sews could easily do it in five minutes
(0)
Report

Well, I am back here still trying to find shoes for my MIL. She is planning a visit to her sister in January and needs shoes. She still refuses to wear the shoes from the podiatrist and only has her 'soft spots' from 15+ years ago that have sort of stretched and morphed as her feet changed size and shape. She has a pair of sandals with velcro - but her feel are so big around that they just barely catch the velcro.

If I could find some decent looking stretch slippers with non slip bottoms - maybe she could wear them - but I have no idea where to look. I ordered some from Dr. Leonards last year and had to send them back. Her feet are Huge. Top to bottom they are over 4'' high! No arch - just one big fat foot and numb to boot! She really is in a predicament. She absolutely will not wear the ortho shoes :0(

So, anyone got any new ideas since the last time I posted?

thanks.
(0)
Report

Try this site, which has some rather stylish shoes for women with extra depth inserts and available in extremely wide widths - some have codes listed for insurance reimbursement for diabetics - healthyfeetstore
(0)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.